Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Prize Winning Fiction
Prize Winning Fiction

1990 Costa Winner

Hopeful Monsters by Nicholas Moseley


Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press

Length: 551 pages

About: Love affair in Spanish Civil War


Where: Germany, England (Cambridge), Spain, West Africa, Soviet Union

When: 1918-1970s


Publisher’s synopsis:

Hopeful Monsters, is a tour de force of intellect and eros -- one in which Albert Einstein taunts a lecture hall full of Nazis and Ludwig Wittgenstein is an awkward guest at an English garden party. It is a love story in which a young English physicist and a German-Jewish anthropologist pursue each other across landscapes that range from Hitler's Germany to Los Alamos on the eve of the atomic age. It is also a pyrotechnically accomplished novel of ideas in which communism, psychoanalytic theory, uncertainty, and relativity attain visceral emotional force and help us understand the cataclysms of the twentieth century.



Some of the men with white shirts were having trouble with their rifles; they banged the butts on the stonework of the balconies; one of the rifles went off and seemed to shoot one of the men in the head. I thought -- Oh how lucky, yes; that is like the universe: shots go round and shoot you in your own head.




These phrases that repeat themselves like musical leitmotifs lend the novel a quality that at its best is thought-provoking or comically skeptical and at its worst faintly sophomoric.

For full review click here.

The New York Times, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, December 26th 1991


Not so good:

Nicholas Mosley's novel of ideas--the scientific, philosophical, historical and spiritual ideas of the 20th Century--is a work of soaring intention. So is a card pyramid, until you touch it and it collapses. "Hopeful Monsters" collapses when read. It becomes a jumble of aces, one-eyed jacks, a heart king, a diamond queen, and any number of lower-ranked clubs, spades, diamonds and hearts, strewn around the floor of a book-lined study whose owner infrequently goes out for air.

Click here for full review

LA Times, Richard Eder, 15th December 1991


About the author

Nicholas Mosley, 3rd Baron Ravensdale, 7th Baronet, MC FRSL (born 25 June 1923) is an English novelist. He is the eldest son of Sir Oswald Mosley, 6th Baronet, an English politician, known principally as the founder of the British Union of Fascists, and his first wife Lady Cynthia Mosley, a daughter of Marquess Curzon of Kedleston, Viceroy of India and Foreign Secretary.

Mosley was educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford. In 1940, during the Second World War, his father was interned because of his campaigning against war with Germany. Despite this the younger Mosley was soon commissioned into the Rifle Brigade and saw active service in Italy, winning the Military Cross in 1945.[3]

In 1966 Mosley succeeded his aunt Irene Curzon, 2nd Baroness Ravensdale, his mother's elder sister, as Baron Ravensdale, thus gaining a seat in the House of Lords. On the death of his father on 3 December 1980, he also succeeded to his father's baronetcy. In 1999 he lost his seat in parliament as a result of House of Lords reform.

In 1983, after his father's death, Nicholas Mosley published Beyond the Pale: Sir Oswald Mosley and Family 1933–1980 in which he proved to be a harsh critic of his father, calling into question his motives and even his understanding of politics. This book contributed to the Channel 4 television programme Mosley (1988), based on Sir Oswald Mosley's life. At the end of this serial, Mosley is portrayed meeting his father in prison to ask him about his national allegiance.

Nicholas Mosley lives in London. He is a half-brother of Max Mosley, former President of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), a non-profit association that represents the interests of motoring organisations and drivers worldwide and is the governing body for Formula One and other international motorsports.


LAST          NEXT

<1989> -  <1991>

















Page turner







Age guide: 12






Books by same author:

Meeting Place (1962)
Accident (1965)
Assassins (1966)
Impossible Object (1968)
Natalie Natalia (1971)
Catastrophe Practice (1979)
Imago Bird (1980)
Serpent (1981)
Judith (1986)
Children of Darkness and Light (1995)
The Hesperides Tree (2001)
Inventing God (2003)
Look at the Dark (2005)
God's Hazard (2009)








None to date




























































































2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner

It's a massive day in arts and journalism because the 100th annual Pulitzer Prize winners were just announced, and there's a big surprise. 2015's best artistic and nonfiction writing across 21 categories were recognized during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Columbia University in New York City. The first Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Hebert Bayward Swope, a reporter for The New York World, in 1916. (And if you're as big a fan of Newsies as I am, that paper should ring a bell, but try to think of it more positively.)

The major prize for book nerds, the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press), a legitimate surprise, if you've been paying attention to the book nerd and industry buzz. The feeling around the prize in the last few months would have you putting all your hard-earned cash down on A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara to take home the award, but that's why you should never gamble. Viet Thanh Nguyen is no less deserving, and moreover, it's his debut novel, which makes it such a wonderful win.

Extract from New York Times to view full article...

Click here


Print Print | Sitemap Recommend this page Recommend this page
© Prize Winning Fiction